karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

How do you change your world? One word at a time, one heart at a time

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Bringing Down the House

Walls have a purpose. There are good reasons to have walls; then again, there are bad. The same walls that keep out danger also keep out love. A cold heart cannot experience either. Gary Chapman said something recently that struck a chord within me. He was talking about walls within a relationship, and my youngest daughter was heavy on my heart. Then I realized something: I can only tear down the walls on my side of the equation. I can’t do a thing about the walls on the other side.
Proverbs 18.19 says that a brother offended is harder to win back than a strong city. The word “offense” comes from the Greek word “skandalon”, which was actually the bait that was hung in a trap in order to entice an animal. When I learned that small but significant fact, I started looking at offense in a whole new way. I realized that the bait may be offered, but I don’t have to take it. In fact, it’s wise to just pass it up. You can only make decisions for you, but if you don’t make them somebody else will. Many years ago I made the commitment that as for me and my house, we were gonna serve the Lord. Come rain or come shine, that simple principle guides my life to this day.
I’ve also decided to adopt one of John Maxwell’s philosophies. I heard him say that he wanted to be a dream builder and a people builder. What a great goal for life. One caveat – I also choose to be a wall builder. Nehemiah is a hero of mine. He was the original wall builder, and accomplished great things. helping not only rebuild but also fortify the city of Jerusalem at a time when Israel had many enemies. I’ve often thought about how the bible says they had a brick one hand and a sword in the other. Well, OK, it doesn’t exactly use those words but that’s what it means. They were working for God while ready at all times to fight if necessary. Yep, there’s a lot to learn from walls if you’ve a mind to listen. Don’t wait until it’s too late to learn them.

Kari, the wall builder and wall destroyer
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

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SuperAbounding SuperWoman

Me? Right. So not happening. But I must admit that I do have my moments. God thinks I’m super. To die for, in fact. And I’m totally OK being a woman. After all, man got us into this mess, and Man had to get us out of it. A Lamb had to die, and I pray I never forget the price He paid for my redemption.
Romans 5.20 says that where sin abounds, grace “much more” abounds. Hence the SuperAbounding title. And oh, how I need that much more abounding grace. Every day. Then it hits me. To get it, I have to give it. Ouch!
Psalm 31 verse 15 says that my times are in His hands, and just knowing that has been a lifeline for me on so many occasions in my short life. 1st John 3.20 tells me that even if my heart condemns me because I’m not perfect, my heavenly Father, Papa, is greater than my heart. I’m rather partial to Little John; it happens to be one of my fave books. I’m not sure I’d exactly rip it out of the bible, but if I had to be one of those Christians in the underground church in China who have to memorize one book of the bible, I might well choose Little John. After all, you’ve gotta love the guy who claimed he was the disciple whom Jesus loved. I’m a beneficiary of His abundant love, just because. I used to wonder about that, but then I remembered that Papa’s no respecter of persons. What He’s done for one, He’ll do for all. I can have it too. So I’ve decided that I’m the disciple whom Jesus loves. I’m His favourite kid! And I have three words for you: Don’t hate; imitate!!!
My pastor talked one Sunday about what he called a “Caleb spirit”, and I remembered that in Numbers 14. 24 the bible says he had a “different spirit”. It also flashed thru my mind that in Daniel 6.3 God said He thought Daniel had an “excellent” spirit. How I long for that. To be so distinguished by my moral character that Papa wants to talk about me. How cool is that?
Here’s a song that might really bless you, one that’s on my heart right now really strong though I’m not sure why. It’s by Holly Starr, and it’s called Don’t Have Love.

Kari, the superabounding grace-giver and receiver
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Of Birds and Bees

Well, OK, I admit it, no bees. Only birds. I just couldn’t resist the title. It was Socrates that said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I’ve been accused several times in the past few years of overanalyzing, but to be honest, I’d rather think something to death than never consider it at all.
My pastor, like me, has a real thing for nature programs and, like me, God teaches him life lessons through them. He told the story many years ago but it comes to my remembrance every once in a while and it’s well worth retelling.
The whippoorwill is a very small bird whose main natural predator is the hawk. More on the whippoorwill in a sec.
New subject. Shouting warriors can be intimidating. Centuries ago. Scottish clansmen knew this to be true. Of course, I’m sure having nothing under those kilts must have helped quite a bit with that terror factor; when I discovered this tidbit of history for days I had visions of big, fierce, hairy men running down a hill into the wind and onto a battlefield… hope you get the visual… that would put fear into the most steadfast heart, I’m sure. Someone once said that the enemy always underestimates the power of prayer, and that reminded me of when Mo was on the mountain top and Josh said he heard the sound of war in the camp. Nope. Not war. More like an orgy. For real. Read it. I find the bible fascinating. There’s what Carman once said you can find on any daytime soap: every immorality known to man, committed by everybody, in less than half an hour. Well, ok, not half an hour, but there’s a whole lot of R-rated subject going on. It’s been years since I saw one even briefly, ‘cos they gross me out. Maybe weird, but still true. God is so real. And He has no problem using weakness as a teaching tool.
Back to the whippoorwill. Like I said, it’s very small bird and pretty defenseless when travelling alone, which is why they tend to fly en mass. However – and there’s always a however, isn’t there? – only a healthy whippoorwill sings. So what would any self-respecting hawk be looking for when on a hunting expedition? The same thing the enemy of our souls is after. A silent whippoorwill. A silent bird is a sick bird, and a sick bird is easy prey. After all, if I was roaming around seeking someone to devour, like 1st Peter 5 verse 8 says is his MO, he’d be a major dufus to take on a strong and healthy Christian, now wouldn’t he?
The moral of the story? God already told me what I’m supposed to be doing. Singing the song of the redeemed. I’m reminded once again for the bazillionth time that I’ve lost my song, and I need to get it back again real quick or I’ll be one dead whippoorwill.

Kari, the singing whippoorwill
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved
no birds or bees were harmed in the writing of this blog

Supersize That

I never really cared for the BK slogan, “have it your way”.  I wanna ask the creator of it, “who died and made you the pope?”  Kerry Shook was talking recently about what he called, “Customization Salvation”.  Immediately I thought of Genesis 1.27. when God said He created us in His very own image, but then my mind went to Exodus 32.4, where the people broke God’s heart because Mo’s baby bro Aaron, the high priest, God’s man of power for the hour, made an idol, a golden calf, and what’s worse is that all the priests, including Aaron, told the Israelites, “these are your gods.” 

You’re gonna become like what you hang out with.  How often do I form my Father into an image I have made?  Do I really want Him to move in my life, but only on my own terms?  He’s God, for crying out loud.  What do I think I can possibly teach Him?  Why do I think I know what’s best for my life?  How many T-shirts do I have to buy before I learn that Father really does know best?

So it’s a new day and I’ve made one more new decision.  I don’t do customized salvation. It’s not a vending machine, where I can pick and choose the four commandments I think I want to comply with.  I’ve always been an all-or-nothing gal and I don’t understand people who aren’t.  To me, life is black and white.  For me, there really is no grey.  Something’s either right, or it’s not.  Tonight in my online class seminar the teacher posed what he called a “hypothetical dilemma.”  Should the parent of an abused child be treated, or punished?  In my humble opinion I’d say both, but unlike my classmates, I had a caveat.  If the parent knew what they were doing and were in their right mind, the punishment should come before the treatment. One thing that will make me lose that uncustomized salvation real quick is someone abusing the innocent and defenseless.  I guess it’s the Brit in me – brings out the Robin Hood complex.  Forgive me.  I may not be where I need to be, but I’m way further than I used to be.  I’m OK, and I’m on my way.  And I’m happy with that.

 

Kari, the often clueless but desperately loved by an amazing God

original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

The Road Less Travelled

Crossroads Christianity. Wow. The words hit me like a freight train. Now that’ll make a redhead think. So I just thought I’d share a lightbulb moment — – don’t wait for the fork in the road to decide how you’re going to act. Decide beforehand. I learned that from Creflo Dollar. I’ll explain what I mean by that a bit later. For now, just know I’ll choose the narrow way, every time, no contest. Been on the wide one, bought way too many Tshirts. In 1920 Robert Frost penned a beautiful poem by the name, The Road Not Taken. I highly recommend the reading of it. The last line in particular is very powerful. He said that when two roads diverged in a wood he “took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” How I long to say that at the end of my life. Maybe that sounds a tad morbid, but it’s still true.
Someone once said that sin is future bondage wrapped up in present pleasure. Truer words have rarely been spoken. Like Dan Mohler says, from “little up” we’re trained that way. After all, if it feels good, do it.
I’ve shared it before but it’s worth repeating; Joyce says a made-up mind is a powerful thing, and Cref once said that if you make a decision beforehand, if you’re ever in the moment of choice it’s a no-brainer. Yes, he was talking about lust, but it goes for any weakness of the flesh. Decide while you’re in a safe place and all that’s left is the follow-thru. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. He said he looked up the word ‘fullness’, and it means ‘a house with no empty rooms’. Oh, may God give me that kind of a life. A heart. A spirit. How can people resist such a love?
George Carlin once said that we should throw out irrelevant numbers… like age, weight, height… I happen to agree. It makes for a lot more peace, and very little defensiveness.
One of my biggest desires in life is to see others succeed, especially those who have less going for them than others. Jesse du Plantis has said that people often take a moment and make it into a lifetime. For good and for bad. To me that explains a lot about mental problems. A teenage child I know well totally wigged out at the age of 15, and started cutting. They totally flipped. Their mother, someone I’m very close to, watched as her child was diagnosed as ADD, suicidal, and depressed. Apparently the child had a thing for bridges. I’m assuming as in to jump off. God says in 2nd Timothy chapter one verse 7 that He has given us the Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. This child used to know that God, but they made life-defining decisions that distanced Him, the only One who could help them.
This is the kind of vid you’ve got to watch again, and again, and again. Good stuff, I promise. Real grow-up stuff.

Kari, the less-travelled-road traveller
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Hangin’ Out

John 15.5 says that apart from Jesus we can do nothing. It’s so easy to gloss over that because we’ve probably heard it a million times. But how often do we try to do things on our own? I’m finally becoming fully persuaded that I can do nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, without Him. Many say it but their actions prove otherwise and Matthew 7 verse 16 says that fruit, not words, will show our belief system. Joyce says if you’re having a bad day, then you haven’t been hanging out on the vine. What vine? Well, in that same chapter Jesus called His Father the vine and told us we were the branches. He went on to say that if we didn’t produce fruit we’d be cut off. To quote Joyce again, she says you’re pruned if ya do and you’re pruned if ya don’t…so ya may as well produce. I often think of the leafy figless tree Jesus came across, Mark 11.12-14, and how He had a few choice words for that phony in disguise. If it’s by our fruit that we’ll be known, how’re ya doin’? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m having yet another check up from the neck up.
My good friend Debbie posed a question to me the other day: am I being “cross” effective? Or ineffective? What a scary thought. Jesus told the Pharisees they were whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones, and that all their works were in vain. How crushed a man must feel to get to the end of his life and stand before a holy God telling Him all the things you did for Him and He softly says, “I never knew you.” One of my absolute fave songs eva is by Anthony Evans, called I Choose Now. The chorus basically says that one day every knee will bow but I choose now. Me too. You?

Kari, the hanger-on-for-dear-lifer
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

ps. In case you’re interested and like to hear it, I’ve pasted the link to the song:

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